RIO DE JANEIRO Dec 16 A former governor of Rio
de Janeiro state will face trial on corruption and money
laundering charges, a crusading anti-graft judge ruled on
Sergio Cabral, his wife and five other defendants will be
tried by Judge Sergio Moro in southern Brazil.
Prosecutors last month accused Cabral of leading a criminal
organization that took 224 million reais ($66 million) in bribes
from construction firms in exchange for infrastructure contracts
from 2007 to 2014, when he was serving as governor.
The specific charges accepted for trial Friday involve 2.7
million reais ($797,000) allegedly paid by construction firm
Andrade Gutierrez to Cabral in exchange for the company winning
building contracts for a petrochemical complex in Rio.
Cabral was the most powerful figure in Rio politics for the
past decade, but he resigned in April 2014 in the face of
anti-corruption protests targeting him, despite having nine
months left in his second term.
He is the latest high-profile politician who will have to
stand trial in the nearly three-year corruption probe known as
operation "Car Wash," which began by unraveling a massive
political kickback scheme at state-run oil company Petrobras
Cabral was a close ally of former presidents Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, the latter of whom was removed
permanently from office in August on charges of illegally using
money from state banks to bankroll public spending.
($1 = 3.3877 Brazilian reais)
(Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)